January 12, 2015

Criminal Record Expungement Options

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There exists more than one way to obtain an expungement of a Kentucky criminal record involving more than one misdemeanor.
In Kentucky, KRS 431.078 generally governs when a person may expunge a misdemeanor conviction, a dismissal, or amended charges. However, this statute limits expungments to only ONE criminal offense within a 5 year period. Upon learning this fact most people with more than one criminal record over several years simply give up.
Individuals with criminal records experience difficulty obtaining gainful employment, entering into and staying in the military, or obtaining credit. Many of these people are basically good but may have made an error in judgement, or in some cases, chose to plead guilty to a crime they did not commit because they did not have the money to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney and did not want to remain in jail waiting for trial ( I note that with the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney, many of these people might have qualified for a pre-trial diversion program which would have resulted in an automatic expungement of their criminal charges once they fulfilled the requirments of the program.). Additionally, for some, the court system helped them reform and want to pursue a lawful path in the community.
Some of Kentucky's 120 counties recognize the problem and have expungement programs in place which may not be advertised nor well known to the public nor known by all criminal defense attorneys. Based on the county, the programs go by various names with the criteria for expungement set either by the county attorney or the individual judges. The programs are very fact dependent and are not available to all criminal offenders. These programs typically require advance payment of program and court costs, the meeting of certain conditions by the applicant, agreement by the prosecutor, petitions made to the courts, and more.
As an example, a college student who had committed three misdemeanors (alcohol intoxication) over a period of time feared that he would not be able to obtain gainful employment after graduation and would not be able to pay his student loans. Working with the county attorney, we entered the student into a program so he would not have a criminal record on graduation.
These special program expungments typically require the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney knowledgable about the various county programs.


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The acronyms DUI, DWI, OMVI and OVI all refer to the same thing: operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The most commonly used terms are DUI, an acronym for Driving Under the Influence, and DWI, an acronym for Driving While Impaired.
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